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We are changing

Thursday 15th October

We are changing – a message to our friends, supporters, allies and community

 

Hello everybody.

I should start with an introduction. I’m Simon, and I’m the new Director at Taliesin Arts Centre. I started in the role back in March and at the time, I was preparing for a busy spring season – pre-sales were going well, the team was excited, we were tentative but optimistic.

However, casting our minds back now, will evoke the memory of a growing sense of unease with the spread of the virus continuing to build momentum across the surface of the world. Consequently, very suddenly and like everyone else, we were locked down with all performances and events postponed or cancelled. Everybody working from home and shut off from our audience. The future was very uncertain.

We didn’t stop working though, in fact we’ve been busier than ever: scenario planning, trying to support artists, connecting with community groups, budgeting, new website (do you like it?!) hoping, dreaming…

But as I write this today, I have a different feeling about the future. Less dread, more anticipation of what we hope will be the beginning of new and ambitious ways of working for Taliesin. Out of a period of real uncertainty, we will be seeking to build a new, taking the best of what Taliesin has to offer and developing our programmes in ambitious ways in order to connect more people with big ideas, with each other and the wider world we live in.

Like all art centres and theatre venues, the way forward isn’t straightforward and the challenges (including financial) are very real. It will be extremely difficult to present live performances on our stage until social-distancing measures are relaxed, this of course was the mainstay of our programme. But it’s also important to recognise that the world has changed and the ways we work should adapt and accommodate those changes. So, we have been asking ourselves questions about how our work is ever-more inclusive, representative of our cities’ communities and democratic in nature. It is our hope that in time, the results of this work will be clearly seen and felt. Over the past few months, we have been busily doubling our efforts to ensure this happens.

The process of reopening will take many months rather be seen in the throwing open of doors. As we gear up to that, we will be testing ideas and trying out some news ways of working. For example, over the course of the next few months we will host a mini programme of films co-curated with individuals who have experience of being a refugee or asylum seeker marking 10 years of Swansea’s City of Sanctuary status.

We will be working with Swansea's own Matsena  Performance Theatre https://www.facebook.com/MatsenaPerformanceTheatre/ on a new piece which  crosses boundaries between dance, theatre, poetry, politics and film alongside a programme of films from Wales and around the world (dates for all these to be announced).

But this is an invitation as much as an announcement. To our communities in Swansea; we want to go on this journey with you. And in the coming months we will be putting time into getting to know more of you, getting to know you better and into dreaming up new ways of working together in the future.

I also want to take this moment to say a big thank you to all our supporters who donated the cost of their tickets for performances that were no longer possible. Not only is the financial support deeply needed right now but the gesture also speaks volumes. Thank you. If anyone wanted to donate towards the continuation of our work, we’d be very grateful: https://taliesinartscentre.ticketsolve.com/products/donation

If you want to contact us to share ideas about how we can work together, please get in touch at marketing@taliesinartscentre.co.uk

 

Simon Coates

Head of Cultural Services

Taliesin Arts Centre